Wednesday, March 4, 2009

So when will the World End?

This is probably the most common question Dr. Tim LaHaye and I have heard since writing the Left Behind series. And now, with all the talk of 2012 being D-Day, I was asked to put together our official response.

Here 'tis:

With the advent of the movie 2012 and an Internet full of ominous warnings (from the ancient Mayans to the ancient Egyptians), doomsday prophecies are gaining purchase. The movie trailers show 2012 to be a picture with high production value and sophisticated special effects.

And the History Channel website…

http://www.history.com/video.do?name=armageddon&bcpid=3887230001&bctid=6072321001

…carries fascinating commentary from astronomers, archaeologists, and others who agree that we are heading toward something cataclysmic.

This is something Dr. Tim LaHaye has been saying for years, and he believes we have more reason now than ever before to expect that the rapture of the church (the spiriting away of true believers in an instant)—as prophesied in the Bible—could occur in our lifetime.

While it may be that God, in His mercy, will wait one more day (a thousand years in our economy of time), the Bible urges people to watch and wait…and be ready.

As for the predicting of a specific day or time, however, Scripture also makes clear that this is folly. Jesus Himself told His disciples that even He did not know the day or the hour, but only His Father knew.

In our opinion, it is not ours to predict a specific date for the end of the world as we know it. And we acknowledge that our view of biblical prophecy sounds as absurd to the modern mind as do the astrological and even scientific warnings currently bandied about.

We will watch the movie. We will listen to the experts. But we respectfully ask that our interpretation of the biblical record also be carefully considered. We don’t expect everyone to agree, and we expect many to scoff, but we urge all to at least be aware of what it is you are disagreeing with or scoffing at. We sincerely don’t want to see anyone left behind.

7 comments:

Future Game Designer said...

I agree, we need to be prepared for the end times. I agree with Tim LaHaye's statement on the Rachel Maddow show that if we believe in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, that he died to forgive me of my sins, that he took the punishments for my wrong doings that I am saved. This means that I will be raptured, or called to Heaven when I die.

However, I find it very interesting that there are Christians that are actively trying to determine the day and time or even a, "In our lifetime" statement. I am sure that there were those who lived during the Crusades that thought the rapture was upon them. WWI and WWII were trying times for our country and there were difficulties upon them as well.

There have been a lot of interesting things seen throughout our history that may have raised the question, "Is the rapture and the end times upon us." I think that it is extremely pre-mature to make any kind of statement that the end times are near.

Yes, our hearts and spirit must be prepared and through the salvation which I received in Jesus Christ, I am prepared. However, this means that we must devote our time and energies spreading the word of God, shouting his message from the mountaintops and hearing the deperate crys for help from the unsaved. Instead of trying to prove theories or ideas, we need to prove to the sinful that hope is on the horizon for those who accept Jesus' gift of salvation. That is the mission of every Christian.

Jim said...

Please help make things more clear for me. I do not see the present moment as being as violent as you make it out to be.
There are more people alive then ever before in history
The average life of a man and woman are longer then ever before
More people died in the American Civil war then in all the world conflicts over the last 10 years combined.
In one battle with Hannibal from Carthage 100,000 Roman Soldiers were killed more then most entire wars in modern history.
In most modern wars people are tried for war crimes unlike anything that ever happened in the past the Crusades is a perfect example where Christian armies murdered raped and pillaged citizens of Jerusalem and other Middle Eastern cities and were never tried.
The black plague killed far more people in the 13 century then all of today’s diseases combined over 1/3 of humanity and modern medicine is more advanced then ever before in know history.
And earth quakes and geographic disasters have happened at every moment in time, today’s earth quakes are nothing out of the ordinary please read history it was a massive earthquake that destroyed the ancient city of Alexandria and its historic library. And lets not forget Pompey .
Bottom Line it seem this one of the most peaceful times in human history.
A change is always happening that is inevitable but I see no sign of the seven horsemen. But I still like your book it makes interesting reading and is fun to pick apart.
I am lucky to be able to enjoy this moment in time and live in such a peaceful world at one time in history one could not walk alone without carrying a sword for protection and each day would live in fear of getting killed or having ones family raped and killed by marauding Vikings.

Thanks
Jim

Jerry Jenkins said...

I recommend Are We Living in the End Times?(Tyndale).

I said nothing about the times being violent or that having anything to do with the return of Christ.

And what seven horsemen are you referring to? Scripture mentions four, and they appear after the rapture.

gracepraying said...

Thanks, Jerry, for speaking out about the end of times, because our world must be warned. We must be ready.

Because the Lord gave us the book of Revelation and many Old Testament prophecies, these subjects are worthwhile to prayerfully study and discuss. Your warnings and explanations help. Through the use of fiction, founded on eternal truths, you and Tim reach a population that may not pick up a Bible or attend church.

The natural curiosity of humans about the future provides you a hook. What will happen when, and how will we fare? God obviously did not leave us without any information. He cares that we know certain things, but not all.

The Book of Revelation is quite easy to understand if we remember it outlines itself, with Jesus telling John to write: "the things which you have seen [past], the things which are [present], and the things which will take place [future]." (Rev. 1:19)

I am firmly convinced of the truth of the Rapture, because after Chapter 3 the Church is not even mentioned in Revelation, except in John's summation (Rev. 22). It has been "caught up (raptured)... in the clouds with Jesus." (1 Thes. 4:17) As believers, this is our "comfort" (vs. 18), not our condemnation to wrath. Because the Church is in heaven, (after Chapter 3) it escapes the worst judgment the world will ever know -- the "Great Tribulation.”

Why would anyone choose not to believe in Christ as Savior and escape the full wrath of God? Jerry, you and Tim have effectively spoken in your books about the warning signs of the end, things that occur like birth-pangs before the actual birth. You have vividly described what it may be like to live in the mayhem those "left behind" might face.
Because there are those who are not ready to hear, God does not immediately reveal even written words of the Bible to their hearts.

God purposes for us to learn, to trust, to wait, to believe, and to live more wisely in light of eternity. He wants us to know and believe that He is sovereign, a righteous judge. Yet He cares enough to reveal Himself as the Bridegroom coming for His own Beloved Bride. I have heard His promise: "Surely I am coming quickly!" My bridal heart answers: "Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!" (Rev. 22:20)

Revelation begins with a promise of blessing: “Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near." (Rev. 1:3) It ends with a blessing: "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen." And then the exclamation: “Even so, come, Lord Jesus!”

This is all the more reason for studying end times. Blessing and warning, together!


Thank you for studying, pondering, writing, and warning in such a captivating way. One day we will know, won't we, how it all should have been interpreted!? Now we see through a glass, dimly.

PS Just wondering -- What about after the Rapture? Are you writing a book about heaven?

PPS I had the tremendous privilege of attending the Writing for the Soul conference, having my picture taken with you and your wife. God bless you as you help encourage writers to make an impact for Christ.

Jim said...

Did Jesus ounce mention the end of days specifically? I love the word of Jesus but I see no reference to the end of days in his words but he does say God will forgive us and we should forgive our neighbors as we would wish them to forgive us. This would bring us to the kingdom of heaven.
Should I worry about the Mayans prediction of 2012? I see no signs of disaster except global warming, is global warming a sign?
The Mayans did not believe in our God or Jesus they believe in a sun god and many other gods, and preformed human sacrifice are you saying they are right and we should be prepared. Jesus warns us to beware of the false profit so what do you recommend?

Irv said...

Everyone should go to Google and type in "The NEWEST Pretrib Calendar"! Irv

Lou said...

FOR PRETRIB RAPTURE REPEATERS

Congratulations! You are now fulfilling the Bible which says "Come now, and let us repeat together."
Be sure to repeat what Walvoord, Lindsey, LaHaye, Ice etc. repeat what their own teachers repeat what their own teachers repeat etc. etc. etc.!
Repeat that Christ's return is imminent because we're told to "watch" (Matt. 24, 25) for it. So is the "day of God" (II Pet. 3:12) - which you admit is at least 1000 years ahead - also imminent because we're told to be "looking for" it?
Also repeat the pretrib myths about the "Jewish wedding stages" and "Jewish feasts" (where's your "church/Israel dichotomy" now?) even though Christ and Paul knew nothing about a "pretrib stage" and neither did any official theological creed or organized church before 1830!
You should read "Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty" on the "Powered by Christ Ministries" site to find out why you shouldn't repeat everything your pretrib teachers repeat.
Do I have to repeat this?